Sunday, January 29, 2006

What's Your Project Censored Score?

Anne Zook pointed me to the Project Censored 2005 list (get it direct from the source here. I started going down the list and, as Anne noted, a lot of them were not censored, as such, but clearly had been underreported. And, being a good liberal blogger, I've read a lot of them.... but not all. How many? Let's count! I'll use the traditional method: bold for the ones I've read about previously. You can find the list with explanations and links here

#1 Bush Administration Moves to Eliminate Open Government
#2 Media Coverage Fails on Iraq: Fallujah and the Civilian Death
#3 Another Year of Distorted Election Coverage
#4 Surveillance Society Quietly Moves In
#5 U.S. Uses Tsunami to Military Advantage in Southeast Asia
#6 The Real Oil for Food Scam
#7 Journalists Face Unprecedented Dangers to Life and Livelihood
#8 Iraqi Farmers Threatened By Bremer’s Mandates
#9 Iran’s New Oil Trade System Challenges U.S. Currency
#10 Mountaintop Removal Threatens Ecosystem and Economy
#11 Universal Mental Screening Program Usurps Parental Rights
#12 Military in Iraq Contracts Human Rights Violators
#13 Rich Countries Fail to Live up to Global Pledges
#14 Corporations Win Big on Tort Reform, Justice Suffers
#15 Conservative Plan to Override Academic Freedom in the Classroom

#16 U.S. Plans for Hemispheric Integration Include Canada
#17 U.S. Uses South American Military Bases to Expand Control of the Region
#18 Little Known Stock Fraud Could Weaken U.S. Economy
#19 Child Wards of the State Used in AIDS Experiments
#20 American Indians Sue for Resources; Compensation Provided to Others
#21 New Immigration Plan Favors Business Over People
#22 Nanotechnology Offers Exciting Possibilities But Health Effects Need Scrutiny
#23 Plight of Palestinian Child Detainees Highlights Global Problem
#24 Ethiopian Indigenous Victims of Corporate and Government Resource Aspirations
#25 Homeland Security Was Designed to Fail

How did I do? Fifteen out of twenty-five, 60%. If I eliminate the ones that I hadn't heard about but which didn't surprise me in the least, it'd be a lot higher. And there's one or two on there that I wouldn't include, to be honest, for a couple of reasons. We can talk about that in comments if you like.

Now, just like last year, for fairness, I give you the right-wing WorldNet Daily's top ten underreported story list:

1. Failure of the 9-11 commission to investigate "Able Danger."
2. Successes in rebuilding Iraq
3. Cover-up of David Barrett's probe of Clinton IRS and Henry Cisneros
4. The impact of illegal immigration on the U.S. and its security
5.The truth about Terri Schiavo and her death
6. Sandy Berger's slap on the wrist for stealing classified documents
7. The fact that WMDs were found in Iraq
8. Atrocities of radical Islam
9. Islam's impact on French riots.
10. Good news about the economy

Hmm. Nine out of Ten? (I just heard about the other one this week, actually, but I'm not counting it as something I heard about in 2005) Not as underreported as all that, are they? Now, to be fair, I don't agree with the conclusions of many of these stories, but I did hear about them, often in great detail. Again, the fact that I read bloggers from a variety of viewpoints helps, but a lot more of those were covered in "mainstream" media outlets than the on the Project Censored list.

What's your score?

Update: Welcome, Sideshow readers! If you want a proper debunking of the WND list, Anne Zook's got it. She beat me on the PC list, too....


Alex said...

I read the WorldNet Daily list...need to go wash my hands now. Their idea of 'sources' bothers nobody would report 1.7 TONS of enriched uranium?? Seems kind of hard to miss, doesn't it?
Thanks for posting though...not sure where to start balancing out my news intake, and ten minutes of that should do it.

Ahistoricality said...

It's pretty much the only time in the year I'll voluntarily look at WND, but I do find the contrast interesting. As far as balancing news, one good "echo chamber" conservative blog on my reading list covers most of my needs in this area (just look at my score!), though I also get a fair bit from the liberal bloggers who monitor the right-wing bloggers and media. Frankly, both NPR and the major newspapers are pretty effectively balanced, in spite of what the partisans on both sides say.

To be fair, as I said, some of the Proj. Cens. list also bugs me, from a sources standpoint. The Nanotechnology one is science fiction, basically. The immigration one is a kind of distorted reading of the policy, not to mention the politics involved. The Academic Freedom one doesn't really belong on the list: as far as I'm concerned, it's one of the more overblown stories of the year, at least in academic circles.

A lot of both lists isn't so much "under reported" but "nobody's doing anything about this"....

Anonymous said...

I agree with your last comment. It's not so much that these stories were censored as that they failed to strike the attention of the general public or the MSM, either of which would have resulted in more coverage for any of them.

(Although I suspect that the Falluja story is being more-or-less ignored by the USofA MSM, although I'm not sure why.)

My list of "not even underreported" stories includes pretty much all the WND list. We've been told repeatedly, for instance, how well the economy is doing. If people don't believe it, it's because of what they see in their everyday lives. Telling them so 200 times instead of 100 times won't make their lives any easier.

And Schiavo? That story was repeated on endless recycle for what seemed like months on end.

Also? If they were on firm ground with their #7, they'd have made it #1 on their list.

But, to be fair, I think a lot of the Project Censored list wasn't so much censored as either underreported or greeted with indifference by the public.

Anne Zook

Ahistoricality said...

I think the Fallujah story is being ignored mostly because it would require US media to rely on non-US sources, which they don't do well at all.

The ubiquity of the WND stories reinforces something others have said: the right wing's attempt to create a sense of embattlement among their faithful has been incredibly successful.

World Press Review used to compile every year that "top ten stories of the year" lists from a variety of editorial sources -- AP, Reuters, Xinhua, some African and Latin sources, etc -- and comparing those was always a great exercise. They don't seem to do that anymore, though; I miss it.